William Brooke (MP, died 1643)

  (Redirected from William Brooke, 12th Baron Cobham)

Sir William Brooke KB (1598 – 20 September 1643) was an English soldier and politician. He was the Member of Parliament for Rochester, Kent.


He was the only son of George Brooke and Elizabeth Burgh, and in 1619 would have succeeded his uncle Henry Brooke, 11th Baron Cobham as Baron Cobham, if the barony had not been under attainder,[1] due to his father and uncle's treason by having both participated in the Main Plot of 1603 against King James I of England, and he was not recognised as a peer.[2]

On 1 February 1626, he was invested as a Knight of the Bath. He served as the Member of Parliament for Rochester, Kent from 1628 to 1629.[2]

Brooke married twice; his first wife was Pembroke Lennard (daughter of Henry, Lord Dacre and Chrysogons Baker)[3]), and his second wife was Penelope Hill, daughter of Sir Moyses Hill of Hillsborough, County Down, and his first wife Alice McDonnell (widow of Arthur Wilmot). He had surviving daughters by both wives, including Margaret and Frances. Margaret, Lady Denham (1642–1667), his fourth daughter, was a celebrated beauty who was painted by Peter Lely and was the mistress of the future King James II. Her husband, the poet Sir John Denham, is said to have murdered her in revenge for her infidelity, although in fact her death was almost certainly natural.[4] Her sister, the Hon. Frances Brooke, who married Sir Thomas Whitmore, was another noted beauty.

Brooke's youngest daughter, Margaret, second wife of Sir John Denham

His two principal residences were Cooling in Kent and Sterborough in Surrey. He died from wounds received at the First Battle of Newbury in the English Civil War. As he had no sons, the barony (subject to attainder) fell into abeyance between his four daughters and co-heirs.[2]

His widow remarried Hon. Edward Russell, younger son of Francis Russell, 4th Earl of Bedford and Catherine Brydges, by whom she had several children including the leading Whig statesman Edward Russell, 1st Earl of Orford. She died in 1694.


  1. ^ A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerages of England, Ireland and Scotland, Extinet, Dormant and in Abeyance. E. Ed. Henry Colburh. 1846. p. 82. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "BROOKE, Sir William (by 1602-1643), of Cooling Park, Kent". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  3. ^ "Parishes: Cowling | British History Online". British-history.ac.uk. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  4. ^ Diary of Samuel Pepys 7 January 1667